An overview of adult ADHD

Written by: Dr Andrés Herane
Edited by: Aoife Maguire

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is often associated with childhood, but it's essential to recognise that it can persist into adulthood. Leading conusltant adult psychiatrist Dr Andrés Herane-Vives sheds light on ADHD in adults, exploring its characteristics, potential impact, and avenues for effective management.




What is adult ADHD?


ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a neurodevelopmental condition characterised by persistent patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, often affecting daily functioning and behaviour.


In adults, these symptoms may manifest differently than in children, making diagnosis challenging. In layman's terms, adult ADHD often involves difficulty focusing, restlessness, and impulsive behaviour.


Recognising the signs of ADHD in adults


Adults with ADHD may struggle to manage time, leading to chronic lateness and disorganisation. Forgetfulness, difficulty completing tasks, and trouble with concentration are common challenges. Hyperactivity may present as inner restlessness rather than overt physical activity, and impulsive behaviours might manifest as rash decision-making.


How can adult ADHD impact on daily life


ADHD can significantly impact various aspects of adult life. In the workplace, individuals may encounter challenges with time management, meeting deadlines, and maintaining consistent performance. Relationships may be strained due to forgetfulness or impulsive reactions. It's crucial to recognise these challenges to seek appropriate support.


How is adult ADHD diagnosed and assessed?


Diagnosing adult ADHD involves a comprehensive assessment. This often includes a thorough medical history, self-reporting of symptoms, and input from family and friends. In some cases, neuroimaging or psychological testing may be recommended. It's essential to rule out other possible causes for similar symptoms.


How can ADHD be managed?


Effective management of adult ADHD typically involves a multi-faceted approach. Medications, such as stimulants or non-stimulants, may be prescribed to address symptoms. Behavioural therapy can help individuals develop coping strategies and improve organisational skills. Lifestyle modifications, including regular exercise and a balanced diet, also play a crucial role.


Coping strategies for daily life


Living with adult ADHD requires adopting practical coping strategies. Creating a structured routine, using reminders and organisational tools, and breaking tasks into smaller, more manageable steps can be beneficial. Communication with colleagues and loved ones about ADHD-related challenges fosters understanding and support.




If you would like to book a consultation with Dr Herane-Vives, simply visit his Top Doctors profile today

By Dr Andrés Herane

Dr Andrés Herane-Vives is a leading general adult psychiatrist, based in London.  With over 15 years of clinical experience, specialising in stress-related disorders and mental health conditions, he treats a wide range of psychiatric conditions, including adult ADHD, depression, dysthymia, stress and bipolar disorder.
Dr Herane-Vives holds a PhD in the neurobiology of mood disorders from King’s College London and completed his post-doctoral fellowship at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Faculty of Brain Disease at University College London.
In his role as a psychiatrist, Dr Herane-Vives finds great fulfilment in helping patients regain happiness. He is dedicated to carefully and sensitively listening to individuals, providing a secure and compassionate environment free from judgment. Recognising the importance of understanding each person on a deep level, he believes that this understanding is vital in developing an effective treatment plan that empowers individuals to take control of their lives.
In addition to his medical practice, Dr Herane-Vives is dedicated to education, currently holding posts as a visiting lecturer at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Start -Up UCL Hatchery, University College London and visiting lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London. Additionally, he has conducted several research publications focusing on stress and stress-related disorders. 
Dr Herane-Vives' approach extends beyond conventional diagnoses and labels, acknowledging the uniqueness of each individual's history and challenges. While his extensive clinical and research background has been valuable, he places particular emphasis on the personal interactions with each patient, considering the time spent face-to-face as the most valuable. The insights gained from understanding each patient's perspective enable him to create a personalised treatment plan, offering the best chance for recovery.

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